August 18, 2013

Review of The Lake and the Library by S.M. Beiko


Wishing for something more than her adventureless life, 16-year-old Ash eagerly awaits the move she and her mother are taking from their dull, drab life in the prairie town of Treade. But as Ash counts the days, she finds her way into a mysterious, condemned building on the outskirts of town—one that has haunted her entire childhood with secrets and questions. What she finds inside is an untouched library, inhabited by an enchanting mute named Li. Brightened by Li’s charm and his indulgence in her dreams, Ash becomes locked in a world of dusty books and dying memories, with Li becoming the attachment to Treade she never wanted. This haunting and romantic debut novel explores the blurry boundary between the real and imagined with a narrative that illustrates the power and potency of literacy.

add to goodreadsThe Lake and the Library by S.M. Beiko
Publication Date:  May 1, 2013
Publisher:  ECW Press

Available for Purchase:

[embedplusvideo height=”326″ width=”425″ editlink=”” standard=”″ vars=”ytid=VD2NSl62MOs&width=425&height=326&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7749″ /]

** This title was provided to us by the Author for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewWhat a fun read! I wanted to read The Lake and the Library by author S.M. Beiko the moment I read the synopsis on the back of the novel. It sounded absolutely magical and that it would be a dream-like read that would be Alice in Wonderland meets the modern day world. Which is exactly what The Lake and the Library is. It’s a beautifully written read that readers will get caught up in and enjoy until the very last page. Just great.

The Lake and the Library tells the story of main character Ash who wants a life that’s full of adventure. When she learns that she will have to move from her hometown of Treade at the end of the summer and face a heartfelt goodbye with her best friends and everything she cherishes in Treade. So when Ash and her best friends go to an eerie building outside of Treade, a building that has haunted her with the mystery of what must be inside, Ash finds a way in. But what she finds within the building isn’t what she expected.

She discovers a library within the building. A library beyond her wildest dreams, a library filled with every book she could ever want to read. But within the library is a mute boy named Li. At first Li and Ash don’t get along but eventually Ash is drawn to Li and how he loves to indulge her imagination when they are inside the library. Soon Ash and Li both disappear into their wildest fantasies together but with the end of summer fast approaching their time together must end. Hiding deep within the library is a story untold, one that explains Li’s life and the dark secrets within the Library and its existence.

The one thing I first noticed about The Lake and the Library was the writing style. Beiko’s writing style is beautiful. There is the perfect amount of descriptions, emotion and depth in the novel that I was blissed out by the beautiful writing. Everything flowed perfectly and it really made the story come to life. I could see the library in my imagination, I could feel myself falling for Li the same way Ash did and I could feel every emotion that Ash did. I loved it.

The Lake and the Library is such a unique read. I’ve been a big fan of reads that immerse readers into worlds like the ones found in Alice in Wonderland. Those fantasy worlds that are bizarre have always been exciting to enter and The Lake and the Library has a bit of everything. The library and how it reacts to the stories and the experiences that Li and Ash go through is magical. The library was dark and twisted and beautiful and wonderful at the exact same time. Throw in the plot twist involving Li and you’ve got something awesome-sauce.

Li and Ash were a couple that I was surprised I would end up liking as much as I did. From the start of the novel I wasn’t sure if the two would end up together because Li is a mute and there’s a communication barrier there. What surprised me was the way that Beiko built up Li and Ash’s relationship. I have to admit that I didn’t expect myself to feel for Li the same way that Ash did and that when a certain plot twist is added into the story that he would do what he did.

I would recommend The Lake and the Library to readers who are looking for an imaginative read, readers who are looking for a YA read that focuses on how even the best of dreams can grow dark and for readers who are fans of YA fantasy .



SAMANTHA MARY BEIKO has been writing things since she could remember, then drawing them to make them seem more real. She has somehow managed to make a living doing this, and helping others do it, too. It really is as awesome as it sounds.

In addition to writing and illustrating, Samantha works in the Canadian publishing industry in various capacities, first in marketing and publicity, and now in editorial and layout design. She has had the opportunity to edit some remarkable books in her short time, and along with Sandra Kasturi, she will be co-editing Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing for ChiZine Publications. Her first novel, a young adult fantasy titled The Lake and the Library,  is sort of a love song to the prairies and the remarkable magic there.

Samantha currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and wants to remind you that though she is but little, she is fierce. And constantly dreaming.

(From Author’s website)

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



  1. Bruce Gargoyle

    Heheh, at first glance I thought it said that Ash meets up with an “enchanting MULE”….but enchanting mute will be interesting too ;) Tanks for recommending!

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    LOL Too funny. An enchanted mule would be very Shrek-esque!

Leave a comment

Your comments make us smile!